At a Glance

  • The Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS) has implemented a new requirement for biometric registration of foreign nationals who remain in Nigeria for over 90 days.
  • Foreign nationals are required to appear in person at one of the NIS centers before December 31, 2019.
  • Employers found to have unregistered foreign nationals are subject to fines.

The situation

Foreign nationals residing in Nigeria for over 90 days must appear at a Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) center to register their biometrics before December 31, 2019.

A closer look

  • Registration details. During the application process, the foreign national must submit a registration form and their biometric information. After a background check and information capture, the foreign national will be issued an acknowledgement slip. There is no cost to undergo this registration.
  • Entrants after December 31. Those entering after December 31, 2019 and seeking to remain in Nigeria for over 90 days will also be required to register under the system, though no further information has been provided about the deadline or other details for such entrants.


Foreign nationals are now subject to a mandatory personal appearance requirement to submit their biometrics.

Though the acknowledgement form is issued at the appearance, the process requires extra planning steps and employers found to have unregistered foreign nationals are subject to fines.


  • History of registration requirements in Nigeria

  • Global trends in registration. The inclusion of this registration program follows a similar trend in other countries (such as Kenya and China) that have recently implemented similar systems to track foreign nationals. There are a number of African countries that already use biometrics (Cameroon, Senegal, Ivory Coast and others) to improve border security, streamline the immigration process and identify illegal immigrants.

Looking ahead

Fragomen understands that the Comptroller-General of Immigration aims to link the new system with other national identity systems (such as the suspended National Identity Number system) to generate a combined identification number that will link all relevant systems in Nigeria.

Fragomen expects that Nigeria will continue to add security measures to its borders as it continues to strengthen its border management efforts. Furthermore, Nigeria is expected to continue ensuring that employers and foreign workers adhere to immigration laws through stricter compliance efforts such as fines for noncompliance.

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